Although our indoor worm bin has been very successful at turning our food scraps into worm castings, now that we have a yard we will need a larger outdoor pile to compost food and yard scraps.
We chose to make a compost pile from straw bales for two reasons:
- Since we plan on transferring a few handfuls of red wigglers into the pile, the straw bales will help keep the pile warmer during the winter.
- Dog-proofing. The fungi at work in compost piles can be toxic to dogs, so this will keep the rotting food scraps a bit more secure than would a more open chicken-wire or pallet-based pile.
I'm currently covering the pile with a window found in the garage. A cover made from rigid insulation and OSB/plywood would be better for the winter.
The disadvantage of a straw bale based compost pile is that it is more pricey than a more open pile with walls made of chicken wire or wood pallets. I may decide to make a pallet box to use to stage more woody material.
In other compost news, the pile of woodchips in our driveway was steaming this morning!